Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Canon EOS-D30 Review

Long awaited. Canon first revealed the EOS-D30 at PMA this year (with a "tentative launch of Fall 2000"), they then later made it official and published full specifications and we got our first hands on with the D30, though at that stage Canon weren't comfortable enough with the image quality to allow samples to be published. In August we published an exclusive preview article with the first large set of samples available on the web.

So why is the D30 so special? Lots of reasons, it's Canon's first "home grown" digital SLR, built from the ground up to be a digital SLR, their previous forays into the digital SLR world, the EOS-D2000 and EOS-D6000 were joint ventures with Kodak (Canon bodies with Kodak internals), these cameras are also known as the DCS520 and DCS560.

The D30 comes fully loaded, filled with features and functionality you'd expect of a camera teetering on the edge of wearing a "Pro" badge (and probably more deserving than some of those that do), add to this the fact that Canon threw a curved ball by using the first ever multi-megapixel CMOS sensor to be seen in a production camera and you can see why the EOS-D30 is significant.

The other thing that makes the EOS-D30 special is that it (like the Fujifilm S1 Pro) is helping to open up the "prosumer digital SLR" market, the retail $3,000 may not be considered cheap, but there are considerable numbers of non professionals who can afford (and no doubt will buy) the EOS-D30.

What's the competition? Well, there's Nikon's D1, though Canon have been careful to distance the D30 from the D1, the D1 was designed as a professional tool, as such it's faster and better built than the D30, but with it being "Nikons digital SLR" there are bound to be comparisons. The other camera in the digital SLR market is Fujifilm's S1 Pro, based on a Nikon F60 (N60) 35mm body featuring Fujifilm's 3.2 megapixel SuperCCD (generating a 6 megapixel image file) and Fujifilm's own digital electronics in the "back".

For Canon EOS owners the D30 must surely be a very attractive way into the digital realm, Canon have been very careful, they know that many long term customers will buy D30's, and that's why although beta cameras have been around for a while there's been a long delay for full production units to appear. It's got to be just right.

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